Currently residing outside the Netherlands due to Covid-19?

Important Message to international students

Are you holding a Dutch residence permit for the purpose of study, currently residing in the Netherlands and continue your studies here in the Netherlands? There is no need for action. However, due to COVID-19, you may have temporarily returned to your home country. If this is the case, then please read this message carefully.


Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to apply for a new residence permit for this year. You're always welcome to apply for the next academic year (2022-2023).

Recently the IND has updated how long a student can reside abroad before the residence permit will be revoked.


Will the student follow online education from abroad? Then a maximum stay of 12 months abroad is permitted up to and including 31 August 2021. What if the student has not returned to the Netherlands in time? Then you need to deregister the student with the IND.

Starting on 1 September 2021, a student can stay outside the Netherlands for a maximum of 6 months in a row. The same rule applied before the coronavirus crisis. What if the student stays abroad for longer than 6 months? Then the IND sees this as a change of main residence. You must deregister the student with the IND.


  • The student left the Netherlands between 1 March 2020 and 1 September 2020 (including these dates). The student must be back in the Netherlands within 12 months.
  • The student left the Netherlands between 1 September 2020 and 1 March 2021 (including these dates). Then the student must be back in the Netherlands on 1 September 2021.
  • The student left the Netherlands after 1 March 2021. The student must be back in the Netherlands within 6 months of the date on which they left the Netherlands.

There are two exceptions where the student may be outside the Netherlands for longer than 6 months in a row:

  • The student is following studies abroad as part of their studies in the Netherlands.
  • The stay outside the Netherlands is due to circumstances outside the student's control. For example, if the student can prove that it was not possible to travel back to the Netherlands. After your notification, the IND will assess this on a case-by-case basis.

For more information, see the 'Main residence in the Netherlands' page.
(Source: see Information for educational institutions, question 2)

For the purpose of temporarily studying abroad, you are obliged to inform us if your circumstances change. In case you left the Netherlands and still continue your studies from your home country, you need to inform your educational institution (Immigration Affairs) immediately. Please fill out the Residing abroad due to Covid-19 form (please click the button below) and submit.

Kindly also take note of the following:

  • For your residence permit to remain valid you must return to the Netherlands before your residence permit will be revoked (see update IND above) and have a registration at the municipality (BRP), or register again as soon as possible upon return.
  • If you do not plan to continue your studies or return to the Netherlands, you must inform your educational institution as your right to legally stay in the Netherlands for the purpose of study will be revoked. If your residence permit expires while you are abroad and wish to extend, you should contact your educational institution and answer the questions in the abovementioned form. Regardless of the intended extension, you must always return to the Netherlands within the appropriate time (see update IND above). You must also apply for an extension before the expiration date of your permit.
  • If your current Dutch residence permit is revoked and you wish to return to the Netherlands in the future, you must contact your educational institution 3 months before arrival so that they can apply for a new residence permit.

Take note that it is important that you obtain sufficient credits. The credits obtained during this period abroad must be counted for the study progress monitoring.

We also advise you to keep an eye on this page for information about the Dutch immigration services:

Please send us your response to the questionnaire before June 2.

26 August 2021